Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology using fluorescent proteins tracks cancer cells circulating in blood

Date:
May 8, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
After cancer spreads, finding and destroying malignant cells that circulate in the body is usually critical to patient survival. Now, researchers report that they have developed a new method that allows investigators to label and track single tumor cells circulating in the blood. This advance could help investigators develop a better understanding of cancer spread and how to stop it.

These are images of cancer cells moving with a velocity of 1 mm/s across a linear laser beam having a power of 30mW.
Credit: Chemistry & Biology, Nedosekin et al.

After cancer spreads, finding and destroying malignant cells that circulate in the body is usually critical to patient survival. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Chemistry & Biology have developed a new method that allows investigators to label and track single tumor cells circulating in the blood. This advance could help investigators develop a better understanding of cancer spread and how to stop it.

Cancer spread, or metastasis, leads to up to 90% of cancer deaths. Investigators currently do not have the clinical capability to intervene and stop the dissemination of tumor cells through metastasis because many steps of this process remain unclear. It is known that cancer cells undergo multiple steps, including invasion into nearby normal tissue, movement into the lymphatic system or the bloodstream, circulation to other parts of the body, invasion of new tissues, and growth at distant locations. Now, a new approach developed by Dr. Ekaterina Galanzha of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and her colleagues allows for labeling and tracking of individual circulating cancer cells throughout the body, thereby helping researchers elucidate the pathways of single cells from start to finish.

The advance uses photoswitchable fluorescent proteins that change their color in response to light. When the first laser of light hits the circulating tumor cells, they appear to be fluorescent green. A second laser, using a different wavelength, makes the cells appear to be fluorescent red. To label individual cells, researchers use a very thin violet laser beam aimed at small blood vessels.

The fluorescence from each cell is collected, detected, and reproduced on a computer monitor as real-time signal traces, allowing the investigators to count and track individual cells in the bloodstream

"This technology allows for the labeling of just one circulating pathological cell among billions of other normal blood cells by ultrafast changing color of photosensitive proteins inside the cell in response to laser light," explains Dr. Galanzha.

In tumor-bearing mice, the researchers could monitor the real-time dynamics of circulating cancer cells released from a primary tumor. They could also image the various final destinations of individual circulating cells and observe how these cells travel through circulation and colonize healthy tissue, existing sites of metastasis, or the site of the primary tumor. "Therefore, the approach may give oncologists knowledge on how to intervene and stop circulating cancer cell dissemination that might prevent the development of metastasis," she says.

The approach might also prove useful for other areas of medicine -- for example, tracking bacteria during infections or immune-related cells during the development of autoimmune disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. DmitryA. Nedosekin, VladislavV. Verkhusha, AlexanderV. Melerzanov, VladimirP. Zharov, EkaterinaI. Galanzha. InVivo Photoswitchable Flow Cytometry for Direct Tracking of Single Circulating Tumor Cells. Chemistry & Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.03.012

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "New technology using fluorescent proteins tracks cancer cells circulating in blood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121349.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, May 8). New technology using fluorescent proteins tracks cancer cells circulating in blood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121349.htm
Cell Press. "New technology using fluorescent proteins tracks cancer cells circulating in blood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121349.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins